News: The Forces of Unreason Hate the Hatefacts

Disgusting hypocrites, the lot of them.
Disgusting hypocrites, the lot of them.

Turtle Rock Studios Community Manager Sacked for Calling Donald Sterling a Victim, Which He Is

The tidings which have dominated mundane news publications this week have largely centered around the fact that Donald Sterling is a hateful old racist on account of the fact that he expressed the wish that his gold-digging [now presumably ex] girlfriend would refrain from tramping around with black men. This has resulted in Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, being banned for life from NBA events and fined 2.5 million dollars by Adam Silver, and now faces the prospect of having the other teams in the NBA voting to compel him to sell his team. This article is not about Donald Sterling however, rather it is about Turtle Rock Studios’ [now] former community manager, Josh Olin, venturing an opinion on the matter. Olin, a staunch defender of first amendment rights, had this to say on the matter:

Here’s an unpopular opinion: Donald Sterling has the right as an American to be an old bigot in the security of his own home. He’s a victim.

Donald Sterling has been lynched this week for comments that he made in the privacy of his own home where he should have had a reasonable expectation of privacy, so Olin is factually correct in claiming that Sterling is the victim in this situation, or rather one of the victims, as no sooner did Olin make his eminently truthful tweet then he was set upon by throngs of social warrior zealots masquerading as gamers. In attempting to stand against knee-jerk hysteria in defense of personal liberty, Olin was unceremoniously chewed up and spat out by the same unthinking nightmare machine that is currently masticating on Donald Sterling. Needless to say it was not long before Olin’s callow masters threw him to the wolves, making it clear that his Tweet had cost him his current employment:

The comments made by our former community manager stand in stark contrast to our values as a game development studio.

We sincerely apologize for his remarks and in no way endorse or support those views.

Not only has Olin’s mildly worded dissenting opinion given rise to some of the ugliest ignorance seen on the internet this month, but also some of the most laughably unprofessional “journalism” ever seen in game media, which is not exactly the high watermark of the profession on its best days. The role of gaming’s notoriously terrible media does not seem to be lost on Olin, nor the irony that this saga began with him taking a stance against one irresponsible media witch hunt, and ended with him as the subject of another:

The irony of my Donald Sterling tweet(s) was I was raising an issue with sensational media. Expressly not defending his remarks or actions.

I’ll remind you, my remarks were in condemnation of sensational media, and support of one’s privacy. Not in support of Sterling’s actions.

Final thoughts: I believe in racial equality & do not endorse bigotry in any way. I also believe in free speech and decry sensational media.

Congratulations, political correctness, you have once again made gaming a tangibly worse hobby to partake in, sucking out all joy, frivolity, and reason, only to replace it with anxiety and blind obeissance to leftist dogma – the bonfire of the vanities likely began in much the same way. If the author if this article is absent from his post next week, it will likely only be because he mentioned Donald Sterling in an uncondemning fashion. Thanks, internet.

This should be pretty much self-explanatory by this point...
This should be pretty much self-explanatory by this point…

Nintendo To Miss Another E3

Nintendo revealed some great news for fans of their Nintendo Direct streams this week, as they plan to once again entirely forgo their E3 conference in favour of delivering yet another Nintendo Direct broadcast! What on Earth could Nintendo be thinking? When they shunned E3 in 2013 to instead deliver a special episode in their [then] new format of Nintendo Direct, one was inclined to grant Nintendo a little leeway to see how their venture panned out. Hindsight is 20/20 however, and it has since become apparent that the mainstream press took precisely no interest in Nintendo’s E3 substitute, resulting in absolutely zero cut through in the mindshare of mainstream consumers. E3 is not important because the gaming press chooses to cover it, rather it is important because it serves as one of the few gaming events that mainstream news publications choose to follow. That pretty much means that E3 is one of a very select few avenues through which the gaming industry can directly appeal to and inform the kind of mainstream consumers who do not read specialist gaming publications.

Cue Nintendo’s Wii U, a console that has been stranded on an installbase of six million on account of the fact that the rest of the world does not even know that it exists. What is a Wii U? The average Joe does not know, and the mainstream press is starting to forget that it was ever announced, much less released. Instead of taking advantage of a platform that enjoyed vast mainstream exposure at this year’s E3, Nintendo will instead be showcasing their wares through a channel which will only ever be viewed by a predominantly enthusiast gamer audience. The trouble with that strategy is that the portion of gaming enthusiasts who are predisposed to purchasing a Wii U, already own a Wii U.

Everyone wants a bit of that Facebook money!
Everyone wants a bit of that Facebook money!

Zenimax Accuses Carmack of Appropriating Intellectual Property

Perhaps the most curious story to emerge this week has been Zenimax’s demands for compensation following Oculus Rift’s sale to Facebook. When covering industry legal wrangling it is often relatively easy to come down on one side or another, yet in this instance douche is squaring off against douche, and it is not at all certain which party has the better case based on what is known at present. In a statement released by Zenimax, the company states that:

The proprietary technology and know-how Mr. Carmack developed when he was a ZeniMax employee, and used by Oculus, are owned by ZeniMax. Well before the Facebook transaction was announced, [Oculus founder Palmer Luckey] acknowledged in writing ZeniMax’s legal ownership of this intellectual property. It was further agreed that Mr. Luckey would not disclose this technology to third persons without approval. Oculus has used and exploited ZeniMax’s technology and intellectual property without authorization, compensation or credit to ZeniMax. ZeniMax and Oculus previously attempted to reach an agreement whereby ZeniMax would be compensated for its intellectual property through equity ownership in Oculus but were unable to reach a satisfactory resolution. ZeniMax believes it is necessary to address these matters now and will take the necessary action to protect its interests.

From the layman’s perspective it seems that this case will most likely hinge upon whether what Zenimax is asserting can be backed-up with documentation. That is to say that it will be of absolute crucial importance for them to establish that John Carmack had a non-compete clause in the contract he signed with Zenimax, and that Palmer Lucky did in fact sign or prepare a document acknowledging Zenimax’s ownership of the intellectual property used in creating Oculus Rift. The real grey area in this case comes from the fact that Zenimax was aware that Carmack was moonlighting for Oculus Rift while he was still with id Software, and gave every appearance of being fine with it. Zenimax may or may not have previously discussed potential compensation with the Oculus crew, but they made no attempt to force any kind of claim until after the Facebook deal went down, which paints them as rank opportunists more than anything else. At any rate, this certainly looks to be a forthcoming legal battle that is likely to throw up a few twists and turns before it has run its course.

11 comments

  1. news 1 : sigh
    news 2: idiots
    news 3: Grabs popcorn and watches the fireworks

  2. If the author if this article is absent from his post next week, it will likely only be because he mentioned Donald Sterling in an uncondemning fashion.

    NOT ON MY WATCH.

    Donald Sterling is a bigot. If he wants to say bigoted things in his own home to his own girlfriend, I fail to see why anyone should have a single ounce of legal recourse to deprive him of his possessions. Hell, if he wants to stand on a street corner and shout them, I fail to see why there should be a way to take his stuff.

    Either we have a freedom of speech, behind which we can ALL stand (including bigots and those with whom we disagree)–

    –or we can punish those whose opinions we find troubling, in which case we don’t have a freedom of speech at all.

    If there is no freedom of speech, out the window goes critique. And thought. And a marketplace of ideas. And debate. And reason. And, indeed, we can then never say anything because, when the wind changes, yesterday’s laudable truisms will be today’s illegal sentiments, and it’s off to the gulag for statements made illegal ex post facto.

    I think Donald Sterling is an idiot. I disagree with his views. But he has absolutely the right to say them without suffering legal dispossession. –A fact lost on all the lynch-mob-mentality morons on the internet who forget that their vaunted high-ground principles were once, too, positions which depended upon the freedom of speech to risk being uttered. For these feeble, crawling, scum, ‘freedom of speech’ is simply ‘the freedom to say what I want, and the freedom to deny others the same right’. And every time some public-placating jackass capitulates to them, they become stronger, and worse. The bar to ‘offend’ them drops ever lower. Their demands grow increasingly unreasonable. And so it goes, worse by degrees and by the day.

  3. Social media has rapidly become one of the worst things that the internet has to offer. The fact that Olin can be fired because masses of dipshits failed to understand his message just highlights this point. Not too long ago we were all crying that we were the victim of invasion of privacy by the NSA, but apparently only politically correct people can be considered victims.

    I agree with everything Lusi said in his final paragraph. The only way to fight these morons is by having companies take the side of their employee in situations like Olin’s and, to an extent, Sterling’s. Sterling has a long history of racist remarks and has lost a few lawsuits because he wouldn’t rent to blacks, Hispanics, and people with children. Still, Sterling is entitled to his views and is free to have them and flaunt them as long as he doesn’t break any laws during the course of business (which he did by discriminating who he would rent to).

    If the NBA was really pissed about his racism, he should have been gone long ago, yet the NBA saw fit to orchestrate a trade of one of basketball’s biggest stars to Sterling’s team, despite the years of allegations. The NBA should be in the cross-hairs of the social media warriors just as much as Sterling, but that would require a bit of research and an ounce of intelligence.

    All I have left to say is fuck the NBA, fuck Donald Sterling, fuck Turtle Rock Studios and fuck the Daily Mirror for trying to get Jeremy Clarkson fired from Top Gear.

  4. The pagans are still out there sacrificing straw men, huh?

    Freedom of speech is an inalienable right of a free society; there should be no talk of any amendment needing to “grant it” to a person. What does that matter though to a society of hypocrites and a generation of vipers?

    Of course it’s completely fascist to fire these people; however, such freedoms are a myth to this society that we hold up and ignore according to the whims at present. They apply only to an individual who is not talking to any other person(s), nor being covertly recorded. Corporate rights aren’t “granted” constitutionally; they exist nebulously from a history of court decisions. On the one hand you want to believe in and work towards a free society, but on the other realize that it’s the goal and not the current state. If no one or a just a few like-minded people hear you, you might be safe to speak freely…

    The “Community Manager” positions looks like a really hot seat for these companies. Their job is to be popular to get momentum going and steady for their products, so putting out an opinion that is self-referentially “unpopular” must seem counterproductive at least to the masters. Again, don’t confuse your “granted right to freedom of speech” with the privilege to actually use it.

    And if I have to spell out that I hate this kind of fascism, I will be sorely disappointed.

  5. Dancing Matt, I will point out to you that nepotism has led to a bitterly unpopular community manager being hired by Comcept [on the dime of supporters], and she yet survives!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXDSfUJBCj0

    I don’t think that it has a single thing to do with popularity!

  6. The NBA is a private organization and has a right to control is public associations with members, much in the same way Microsoft can choose to fire idiots who take to twitter and say dumb things if they want. While it would be shocking for a government to levy some legal sanction against a private individual for the content of his speech, private companies are under no such compunction to respect it, especially given that they are ultimately answerable to the sponsors, sponsors I imagine were deluged with complaints and threats of boycotts as long as they continued to sponsor the Clippers while Sterling was the owner.

  7. Free Speech – What you say doesn’t make it right . I think you are missing the point .

  8. Free Speech, is the name intended ironically? No matter. I’m sure that the NBA has sweeping powers that may be exercised to protect the franchise from toxic associations, irrespective of whether they trample on an individual’s free speech or not. I’m not particularly a fan of this, but whatever. The difference with the Sterling case is that these powers have been used to punish him on the basis of information that was obtained illegally. I’m no legal expert, but this strikes me as more than a little dubious, and no doubt Sterling currently has lawyers working this very angle. Now, regardless of legal implications, what has occurred is morally reprehensible, and on that basis rests the bulk of my repudiation of the NBA.

    However, this article wasn’t actually about Donald Sterling, rather it was about Josh Olin, a man who Tweeted an opinion that was perfectly measured and reasonable and was fired for it. I find this to be much more upsetting than what is happening to Sterling, and I find the conduct of Turtle Rock to be even more troubling than that of the NBA. Now I’m sure that Olin doesn’t have a legal foot to stand on since there are few workforces that are treated as disposably as software development, but morally Turtle Rock have acted as cravenly as is feasibly possible for fair-weather management to do, and I will endeavour to not support any of their projects going forward. Very poor form.

  9. Very good news post again. Thanks. That first story was a total outrage of a read. After reading all the comments, I don’t have anything add. Good job.

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